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Frank Wickhorst


Frank Henry Wickhorst

Inducted 1970

Date of Birth



Aurora, IL


United States Naval Academy (1924-1926)


It was late in the game. Army led, 21-14, and threatened to destroy Navy's bid for an unbeaten season. Navy's ball on its own 30 and time ticking away. Frank Wickhorst, the Navy captain, huddled his team and spoke: "Do you guys see that goal line down there?" he said, pointing beyond the Army defense. "We are going to cross it - and we're not going to lose the ball until we put it across." Moments later, Alan Shapely scored for the Midshipmen and Hall of Famer Tom Hamilton kicked the conversion point to provide a 21-21 tie and preserve Navy's undefeated status. Wickhorst was an All-American that season, a workhorse lineman who almost played his college football at another school. He was a freshman teammate of legendary "Red" Grange at Illinois when he received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. The Aurora, Illinois; native went on to a distinguished career in the military and, later, was head football coach at California. During World War II, Wickhorst and Tom Hamilton joined to found the famous Naval Pre-Flight Training Program and served together aboard the Carrier "Enterprise". Wickhorst later became an executive with the Henry J. Kaiser Company.


Height 6'0

Weight 218

Career Highlights

  • 1926 Unanimous All-America
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